December 1, 2017

Read Aloud: Some Brillig Nonsense

Poems to Read Aloud , The Buckley Experience , Just For Fun

The Buckley School's founder believed that all speakers should hone their presentation skills by reading poetry out loud. We keep that worthwhile practice alive by including a poem in our magazine each month for you to read aloud.


Lewis Carroll, best known for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, also wrote verse (which you may have read) and academic works about mathematics (that we most certainly have not).

While everyone else is 'twas-ing the night before Christmas, you can delight the little ones with his classic nonsense poem.

O frabjous day!



By Lewis Carroll

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
                  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe
All mimsy were the borogoves
                  And the mome raths outgrabe

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son
                  The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
                  The frumious Bandersnatch!”

 He took his vorpal sword in hand;
                  Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree
                  And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
                  The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
                  And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
                  The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
                  He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
                  Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
                  He chortled in his joy. 

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
                  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
                  And the mome raths outgrabe.


To inspire fundraising for charity two years ago, author Neil Gaiman promised to read Jabberwocky. If you're looking for help with pronunciation, here he is, fulfilling that promise:

You might notice that he, like Benedict Cumberbatch, adds an extra "r" in "borogoves." For an r-free interpretation, here's Sir John Gielgud delivering

And because we couldn't resist, here are the Muppets bringing the poem to "life":

Share this article